Can you forgive someone who's not sorry?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

forgive and forget but most importantly you need to accept that some people just won’t ever change. I’ve slowly been learning this lesson throughout life with my own mother. It’s so hard but honestly just going with it is just so much easier than trying to make someone like that realize they’re in the wrong.  Just maintain a happy relationship on the surfact when you have to deal with them. I wouldn’t be trying to spend loads of extra time around them, though!


Post # 4
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@JemmaWRX:  I am not sure that forgiving is the right thing to do. I know that to forgive is more to make it easier for you than it is for them… but it seems like this is an ongoing issue, not some one off. So basically I am not sure how you’d forgive them since they’ll continue to do things to piss you off.

I am not sure how I’d deal with this, but at least your husband is on your side. I would probably just try to avoid them as much as possible. Any chance you could move far away? Lol.


Post # 5
2212 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@MrsWBS: +1

I think it’s really hard to do, when the behavior keeps happening, but forgiving her slights of you in the past and ignoring the way she acts going forward will be healthier for YOU in the long run.  Easy for me to say, though.  It’s so much more difficult in practice…

Post # 6
4375 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Forgiving them doesn’t give mean your giving them license to do in the future, so yes, forgive them this time, for your own sake & try to move on. Try to do your part in a fresh start – you can’t control them, but you can do your best on your side. If they do it again, then it’s on them – holding a grudge will only make it worse. (Easier said than done, I know.)



Post # 7
247 posts
Helper bee


I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what I’ve done. 

My Future Sister-In-Law and Future Brother-In-Law have always been horrible to me and it always places my Fiance in a horrible position. Needless to say I learned a long time ago that to them I wasn’t part of their life plan and they were jealous of what we had. Due to our educations we’ve been able to afford a great lifestyle and because we don’t have kids our money is our own. This summer we had a huge blow up and I decided to forget that crap and move on. It has been the hardest choice I’ve ever made and this choice doesn’t make their words sting any less, however Fiance doesn’t have to feel trapped by it. I’ll never like them again, it is just that simple however the tension was affecting my relationship with my Fiance. By saying frig them I’m not wasting my time trying to be buddies with them, instead I’m focusing on the joy my Fiance gives me. There are long term affects of this because we rarely see them and chances are they won’t be heavily involved in our life or our future childrens lives. However it wouldn’t matter because unless they really changed this would be status quo. 

If you feel like you can’t let this go, then don’t just move on. However you really need to evalute if you think they are capable of changing at all. Sad thing is, some people just aren’t. I made the choice to limit my time with them, never engage them in their childish disputes, and to just let it all go. You need to do what feels right for you and your husband. 

I wish you the best of luck, this is a tough one. 

Post # 8
1399 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@JemmaWRX:  Life is too short to be around people who make you feel bad. I’d keep contact with them EXTREMELY limited. Your husband should support you on this one, even at the cost of not seeing his parents often. Sounds like he will.

Post # 9
858 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I wouldn’t forgive her.  I use to have this issue with my soon to be brother in law (I’m pretty sure his mom confronted him about the way he treated me).  Even though I don’t have an issue with him any more I still don’t forgive him because I don’t think he actually thinks he was in the wrong.  For the most part I just don’t talk to his brother and when I do if he’s nice I play nice but if not I’ll either treat him the same way or ignore him.

Post # 11
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

I forgive inside, but I don’t treat them as forgiven until they apologize.

And I NEVER forget.

Post # 12
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

forgiving them has nothing to do with them.  It has to do with you.  They are not worth all this negative energy and so much of your time.  Some people cannot change, and people can only do the best they can do.  For your own sanity, you should accept that this is who they are, and free yourself from the negative thoughts and tension.  You will feel better for it.  

 Forgiving them doesn’t mean the behavior is okay, or that you accept it.  It means that you’re not going to harbour bad feelings because that’s not the best thing for you to do.

Post # 13
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Is it at all possibly your Mother-In-Law has some kind of mental impairment/dementia that causes her to call you by the wrong name? I know it’s not likely. I just wanted to throw that out there.

Anyway – it sounds like both of them are unrepentantly manipulative. And why should they change? Their current behaviour is getting them everything they want – attention, drama, feelings of self-righteous indignation and victimization. The only way to deal with people like that is by setting boundaries and enforcing them. If they speak to you or your husband disrespectfully, say, “OK, we’re leaving now,” and get up and go. If they do it on the phone, “OK, I’m not going to listen to this, I’m getting off now,” and hang up. Repeat ad nauseum for a long time until they get the message. I don’t think you should ever ignore or learn to live with being treated disrespectfully. But you also have to respond calmly regardless of provocation – no yelling. Yelling makes them the victim and you the bad guy.

Post # 15
2052 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Here’s what you do. Forgive from your end even if they won’t forgive from theirs. In your heart, let it go. Chalk it up to their weird behavior or whatever, and move on.

This does not mean you forgive and forget, however. No, no. Don’t forget. You remember what went wrong in the past and you correct it for the future. Add your Father-In-Law to your e-mail list so it won’t go to junkmail. If they call you, call them right back and don’t wait. Be immediate.

Let your mantra be forward, forward, forward. YES choose option 1 to protect yourself and your marriage. That come firsts. Distance yourself from them, limit contact, but keep things short and sweet and cordial. Nice, but not overstretching yourself one bit. This constant kindness but slight distancing will be enough to wear them down. Maybe they won’t forgive you, but at least they’ll be too tired to find the energy to persist especially if you’re so darn chipper! Ha! 🙂

If they continue to upset your husband after all that, that is their problem and his issue with them, his opportunity to say, “stop hounding me.” You don’t have to get in the middle of that, and he can assert himself just fine, and Father-In-Law agrees that Mother-In-Law hounds him so you’re good.

I don’t see how distancing yourself slightly, one less phone call here and there, and keeping conversation light, would feed the fire of them hounding your husband about what a jerk you are. Step back slooooowly and see what happens. Good luck!


Post # 16
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@JemmaWRX:  They’ve had a lifetime to perfect their technique. And your Darling Husband probably has a little Stockholm Syndrome, esp as an only child. 🙂

The only thing you can do is protect yourself. Let as much roll off you as you can, and when you can’t, just take yourself out of the situation. 

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